BT unveils on-demand 330Mbits/sec fibre broadband trials
By Stewart Mitchell
Posted on 27 Jun 2012 at 14:53
BT Openreach has announced eight locations for trials of its on-demand fibre-to-the-premises service.
The 330Mbits/sec service are proposed as an option to extend the reach of fibre from the cabinet right to the front door – but only if the customer is prepared to pay for the fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) installation.
The pilot schemes come ahead of a commercial launch of the service early next year and are expected to appeal to businesses and managed services in blocks of flats, for example.
“FTTP on demand has great potential and so we are proceeding with these pilots,” said Mike Galvin, Openreach’s managing director of network investment.
The trial is looking at planning and build options, which will inform deployment costs and wholesale pricing
“Whilst we believe FTTC will be our mass market consumer product for some time yet, FTTP may be of interest to small and medium-sized businesses and so we want to make it accessible throughout our fibre footprint.”
According to BT, the trial will be rolled out in two stages. Stage one, running from July to early 2013, will allow providers to offer 330Mbits/sec downstream and either 20Mbits/sec or 30Mbits/sec upstream services in parts of High Wycombe, Bristol South and St Agnes in Cornwall, while Edinburgh’s Waverley exchange will be added in September 2012.
Providers would effectively be offering a FTTP service, with a BT spokesperson explaining that the equipment in enabled exchanges was capable of running both FTTC and FTTP, even if the area was only earmarked for cabinet services.
Costs remain unknown]
However, the pilots will not be entirely representative of future plans because they won’t come with the all-important pricing plans for extending the network.
“The trial is looking at planning and build options, which will inform deployment costs and wholesale pricing,” a spokesperson told PC Pro, adding that the company expected service providers would pay initial installation costs and pass them onto the customer.
Phase two of the roll out will run from March to May 2013. It will test new automated order processes and focus on the 330Mbps downstream and 30Mbps upstream product. The second wave will see the pilot extended to parts of Watford, Cardiff, Basingstoke, and Manchester Central.
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